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Methodological quality of systematic reviews of the local management of anogenital warts: a systematic review using AMSTAR II, ROBIS and PRISMA


Introduction Anogenital warts (AGWs) are among the most common STDs. Many therapy options are available but are not codified. Systematic reviews (SRs) and meta-analyses (MAs) are helpful to elaborate recommendations on the management of AGWs. The objective of our study was to assess the quality and consistency of SRs for the local management of AGWs using three international tools.

Methods Seven electronic databases were searched from inception to 10 January 2022 for this SR. The intervention of interest was any local treatment of AGWs. There was no restriction on language and population. The methodological quality, reporting quality and risk of bias (ROB) of the included SRs for the local treatments of AGWs were assessed independently by two investigators with A Measurement Tool to Assess systematic Reviews version II (AMSTAR II), Risk of Bias in Systematic Reviews (ROBIS) and Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses (PRISMA).

Results Twenty-two SRs/MAs met all inclusion criteria. According to the results of the AMSTAR II, nine included reviews were rated critically as being of low quality, and only five were of high quality. Based on the ROBIS tool, only nine SRs/MAs had a low ROB. The domain-assessed ‘study eligibility criteria’ were mostly rated at a low ROB, unlike the other domains. With PRISMA, the reporting checklist was relatively complete for ten SRs/MAs, but some reporting weaknesses remained in the topics of the abstract, protocol and registration, ROB and funding.

Discussion Several therapy options are available for the local management of AGWs and are widely studied. However, due to the many ROB and low quality of these SRs/MAs, only a few of them have the sufficient methodological quality to support guidelines.

PROSPERO registration number CRD42021265175.

  • Condylomata Acuminata
  • Human Papillomavirus

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